I heard their approach – sprightly, cacophonous; foreboding – and immediately had the silent alarm go off in my head. Kids!Kids!Kids! I was on my feet, swinging around the desk and hopping over my camera bag to get to the door. Just in time. It clicked shut just as they rounded the corner, shouting and whining about this and that. Safe in my office, I sat back and listened to the exchanges: Paul making nice, Brad politely laughing off the rambunctious boys jumping up and down on his leather office couch. I imagined them mischievously flinging Brad’s awards out the window at passersby, braining an oblivious Dan Shea with the hefty Writers Guild of Canada Showrunner trophy. Their mother would, of course, be mortified. “Say you’re sorry!”she’d snap. “We’re sorry,”the two boys would chime in unison as an unconscious, drooling Dan Shea is loaded onto the ambulance and away. “Alright. I hope you boys have learned your lesson.” Yup.
There was a time when I didn’t close my door at the mere inkling of an approaching child, but that was back when I was a young and foolish Manager of Animation Development for Cinar Animation. I remember, it was my first month on the job and I was sitting in my office, working on a pitch bible, when Sylvia from accounting charged by, eyes wide, mouth formed in a perfect O. Wait a minute! Was that fear in her eyes? I got up, uncertain, and poked my head out into the hallway – but she was long gone. Seconds later, it was Louise from payroll power-walking toward me. “What’s going on?”I asked. “They’re back!”she announced before disappearing around the corner. They? Back? The neighboring office doors slammed shut in unison. I was seized with panic. What the hell was headed my way? Salesmen? Angry viewers? Disgruntled employees back for revenge?
No. Worse. Much worse. It was the CEO’s sons, 6 and 8. They spotted me immediately – the sucker with the open door – and made for my office where they proceeded to pepper me with questions. Who was I? What was my job? Did I pay for those pens out of my own pocket? As one checked my computer for games, the other manhandled everything on my shelves. “Be good,”I good-naturedly warned. “Or what?”challenged the 6 year old. “Well, what do you do when things aren’t good?”I said, hoping a little humor might score me some points with the little terrors. I pointed to the garbage can: “You throw them away.” “You’re going to throw us away?”asked the 8 year old, deadpan. I essayed a wan smile. “If you do, my dad will fire you,”the 6 year old snapped back, effectively wiping the smile off my face. After that, they settled in. I excused myself to make some photocopies and retreated to the mail room where I patiently awaited their departure. As it turned out, I lost my office to them for the rest of that afternoon.
Fortunately, I didn’t end up trapped in my office all day today and, once the coast was clear, did manage to swing by set to snap a few pics from the episode de jour: The Seer.
The mailbag is back –
Anonymous #1 writes: “Can you tell us when Continuum will begin shooting?”
Answer: Sure. Next week.
Alipeeps writes: “What? No House DVDs?!”
Answer: I was favoring more upbeat selections to keep my mind off the murderous cross-island rivals and mad scientist.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Since the team is looking for the Athosians in “The Seer,” do they disappear in “Missing?”“
Answer: Tune in and find out.
Vikitty writes: “I’m betting you’ve been to Steveston before. What’s your favourite restuarant there?”
Answer: Don’t know the name of the place, but they do great fish ’n chips (of course), and a phenomenal Manhattan clam chowder.
Allison writes: “ I’ve been wondering for a bit about the music that is in each episode. Is most of it composed before the episode is made and dropped in during post or is there an individual score for each episode?”
Answer: It depends on the episode. Some episodes are scored while others make use of the vast Stargate library that Joel Goldsmith has created for us.
Jupiter writes: “I had a nightmare last night that SGA wasn’t signed on to do a Season Five. It made me cry. Have you had a similar experiance?”
Answer: My tearful nightmares usually involve me going back to high school to redo grade ten math. Close.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Have you recorded any commentaries for the season 10 DVDs?”
Answer: I’ve done commentaries for almost all of the episodes I wrote – Morpheus, Memento Mori, Counterstrike, and Quest I. I’ll probably be doing Family Ties in the coming weeks.
Johnny E! writes: “ How long does it take you to read these post, emails, etc, and then determine who gets an answer? Also, are you on any season 9 commentaries? Thanks! Oh, one last question, I know some of the guys over there (Martin Wood) are into comics. Are you and if so, what is your favorite character?”
Answer: It takes me about an hour to read and respond. I did do commentaries on all of my season 9 episodes (if I remember correctly). I’m not as into comics as I used to be, but if I had to pick a favorite character, I’d go with Dead pool (the Joe Kelly version).
Fortitude writes: “Will the Stargate films spend more time being i) filmed or ii) edited and having the cgi bits added in?”
Answer: They will.
Giu writes: “In all honesty, which chocolate is best, belgian or swiss?”
Answer: I find them equally alright.
Anonymous #4 writes: “It seems to me that you’re just using Irresponsible to say “Hey, look guys, I’m also our biggest critic!”.”
Answer: Mmm, no. I’m down on Irresponsible because I sincerely didn’t like the episode. Over the course of a given season, there will be episode I don’t like, but they’ll usually be outnumbered by the episodes I do like. And The Shroud was an episode I did like.
Jesse writes: “ Hey Joe, I was wondering if you knew of any place in Vancouver or Richmond where I can get some really good cheesecake?”
Answer: Hmmm. Well, there’s a place on West 4th (just above Burrard Street) that opened last month that specializes in cheesecake. I haven’t checked it out yet but if I was a betting man…
Desi writes: “Have you been able to catch any of The Tudors on Showtime?”
Answer: No. Is it any good? What would you compare it to?
Paula writes: “So yesterday was apparently International Dog Mischief Day. David Hewlett commented on Mars’ feats. My dog and my friends’ dogs were all a little nuts. Did your dogs get into anything they weren’t supposed to?”
Answer: Well, now that you mention it, we did notice some suspicious long-distance calls on our recent phone bill.
Edward4th writes: “Hey Joe, when you mentioned Get Smart the other day I found a couple of episodes and sat down to watch, the episode was entitled Groovy Guru…”
Answer: “ Kill, kill, kill
Thrill. Thrill, thrill
Make a scene
Bump off the Dean
Woh, woh, woh
Don’t you know
Love is out
Hate’s what it’s about
Just kill, kill, kill”
Carolina writes: “Do you live green, you know, changed your light bulbs for eco friendly bulbs?”
Answer: Do I! All of my household appliances are hamster-powered and my underwear is 100% biodegradable.
SMB_Books writes: “You mentioned in a recent entry that you were doing a read through of This Mortal Coil. When does filming begin for this episode and how long will it take to shoot?”
Answer: It beings shooting on Wednesday and, like all good Stargate episodes, should take seven days to shoot.
Teresa writes: “How many zeros in a million?? How many? Six?! That’s what I thought. Hmph.”
Answer: Yeah. Talk about sore loser.
Anonymous #6 writes: “Have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, how did tou like the food?”
Answer: I went ages ago and loved the food and the city. We used to have brunch at the Court of Two Sisters and then spend the evening checking out some of the French Quarter’s top restaurants including Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, Commander’s Palace, and Galatoires.